JOSHUA - Lesson 1: THE PROMISED LAND
“...arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them — the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you....” Joshua 1:3-4
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:33.
My Lord, as you called Joshua to take possession of the land and to occupy it, so you call Christians today to delight in your heavenly kingdom where you reign as Lord and King. I do seek that heavenly land, beloved King, yet my understanding of its beauty and riches is so limited. On my own I see only the shadows of your eternal treasures. Please “open my eyes to see wondrous things out of your (word),” and enable me to grasp the breathtaking delights of your eternal kingdom, my homeland. Thank you.
1. Read Joshua 1:1-4. What did God promise Joshua in this passage?
2. What must God's people do -- by faith in Him -- in order to occupy the land?
3. What does Exodus 33:11 tell you about Joshua's heart and character?
4. Read Numbers 13:1-3, 25-28 and 14:2-9, 36-48. Within a year after the miraculous exodus from slavery in Egypt, God's people stood near the border of the promised land. Joshua, along with eleven other men, was sent on a special mission.
5. Describe the purpose of the mission.
6. When the men returned, what were their common observations.
7. Why did the majority and minority (Joshua and Caleb) conclusions differ?
8 How did God respond to the two conflicting views?
9. What did you learn from Joshua's response?
10. Read Genesis 17:5-8. In His covenant promise to Abraham and his descendants four centuries before the exodus from bondage Egypt, God had offered His people not only a physical land but also the marvelous privilege of being His special nation—enlarged, strengthened and enriched in every way—if only they would continue to trust and follow Him. What do these verses tell you about the covenant God made with His chosen people?
11. Read Jeremiah 31:3-4, 31-34. Fascinated with the false gods, sensual feasts and unholy lifestyles of their Canaanite neighbors, God's people turned their backs to their Maker who had saved, protected and cared for them. After repeated warnings, their Lord withdrew His protection and allowed His people to be defeated by their enemies. But His love didn't fade, nor did He abandon His people. In the following Scriptures, what does God promise the remnant of Israel and all who would eventually put their trust in Jesus Christ?
12. What do these verses tell you about God?
8. Read Ephesians 2:11-18. How do these verses reassure you that God's covenant promises to Abraham, Moses and Joshua apply to Christians today?
13. Read Joshua 1:5. What did God promise Joshua?
14. Joshua believed God's promises and knew that the land was already his for the taking. Likewise, we can know that a greater kingdom, ruled by the King of Kings, is our true home. God wanted His earthly kingdom to be a land of peace, joy and victory in fellowship with Himself. But His heavenly kingdom offers far more. Ask Him to speak to you through the next set of verses. What do they show us about your King, His eternal kingdom and your place in it? (May He keep these truths before us continually, so that we might always delight in what He has given us.)
15. Read Matthew 6:31-33. These verse contains both a promise (or divine invitation) and a condition for its fulfillment. What must you do to enter into the promise?
16. What can you trust God to do?
17. (Personal) What is your heart's response to Him?
Next lesson: Lesson 2 - Commissioned to Conquer